5 Year Separation- 5 Facts You Must Know

By February 13, 2018
two people separated

Everything you need to know based on 5 Year Separation

5-year separation is one of the 5 grounds for divorce. This ground for divorce is used in many different circumstances, often when all else fails. This is due to the fact that you do not actually need your spouse to agree to the divorce petition.

However, like all grounds for divorce, there are a few facts that you need to know before filing for divorce using this ground.

The 5 facts are as follows:

  1. You have to have been separated for AT LEAST 5 years
  2. Your spouse does not need to agree to the divorce petition
  3. You have to show the courts that you have done everything in your power to find your spouse
  4. Although your spouse cannot contest the divorce they can dispute it if they believe you haven’t been separated for a whole 5 years
  5. Your spouse can claim grave financial or other hardship and that it would be wrong in the circumstances to dissolve the marriage to stop the decree absolute being issued.

1. You have to have been separated for at least 5 years.

This is quite obvious to many but it’s crucial that you and your spouse have been separated for at least 5 years. This means you have been living completely separate lives with completely separate finances.

You may need to prove this in court so gathering bills and financial documentation beforehand can prove to be very beneficial later on.

2. Your spouse does not need to agree to the divorce petition

The main benefit with a 5-year separation is that unlike all 4 other grounds for divorce your spouse does not actually have to agree to the petition.

Getting divorced based on 5-year separation puts not blame on either spouse so there isn’t anything to defend.

3.You have to show the courts that you have done everything in your power to find your spouse

Although the divorce petition does not need to be agreed to by your spouse you still have to deliver the divorce petition to them.

If you do not know their new address you have to prove to the courts that you have done everything in your power to try and find them. This could mean having to contact their work, relatives, friends etc.

Social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin can be a great aid in helping locate others.

If you can find an address for your spouse, it could save you over £500 on the overall cost of your divorce. This is why its important to do everything in your power to find them before trying a different route.

If this is unsuccessful then you will need to follow a different avenue to find them. There are 3 different options that you can take depending on your situation and these are:

  • Application for substituted service of the divorce petition
  • An application for a Disclosure order from HMRC
  • Application to Dispense with service of the divorce petition

4. Although your spouse cannot contest to the divorce they can dispute it if they believe you haven’t been separated for a whole 5 years.

As mentioned in fact number 1 you have to have been separated for at least a whole 5 years.

So one way to prolong or dispute the divorce petition is for your spouse to claim that you haven’t actually been separated for this period of time.

If this happens the court will ask you to prove that your claim of being separated for 5 years or more is true. To do this you will be asked to show household bills, financial documentation etc.

This is why it’s extremely important to change all utility bills and bank accounts into your name only as soon as possible after a split.

It’s best to find this ‘proof’ before you file for divorce to ensure that you have access to all the correct paperwork. (Make sure you make copies to stop your spouse from being able to destroy documentation).

5. Your spouse can claim grave financial or other hardship and that it would be wrong in the circumstances to dissolve the marriage to stop the decree absolute being issued.

Another way that your spouse could dispute a 5 year separation divorce petition is by claiming grave financial or other hardship as a result of the dissolution of marriage.

If your spouses’ claim for grave financial hardship is successful then you will remain married.

However, it’s important to understand that this is not something that is easy to claim. The hardship must be as a result of the dissolution of marriage and not just from the breakdown of the marriage.

If the breakdown of the marriage has already caused the grave hardship that your spouse is claiming then their claim will be unsuccessful.

Looking to get divorced based on 5 years separation?

Quicke Divorce has been dealing with divorce based on 5 year separation for over 15 years and are well equipt in helping you receive your decree absolute.

One of our friendly and professional divorce advisors will be more than happy to offer a free consultation and answer any question you may have.

Get In Contact Today & Get Your Divorce Started01793 384 032

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